Monday, April 21, 2014

how to crochet a rag rug with fabric yarn

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you probably already know that I LOVE to make rugs for my home. I have KNIT several of them over the past several years and they are some of my favorite things that I make! I always get questions about crocheting rag rugs and I am happy to say I have worked out the kinks and figured out a way to do so. Here's a tutorial on how to make one of your own!

MAKE THE YARN:
First, you need to make fabric yarn. This is a good way to use up a lot of scraps fairly fast. I'm always a proponent of that! It's also a good way to use up fabric that you don't care for anymore. Not that that would happen to any of us.....ahem!
Gather or cut strings of any length that are about 3/4" to 1" wide. Use quilting cotton, selvages, vintage sheets, or any other random fabric of the same weight. I would stay away from anything thicker than quilting cotton such as linen blends, canvas, etc. They are difficult to crochet with because they are just too bulky. Try to keep the yarn approximately the same width/thickness throughout. If your yarn is significantly skinnier in places you will have thin spots in your rug.
Overlap two pieces of fabric and stitch together. Back stitch if you like. (I'd recommend it, based on working experience, but it's your choice.)
Loop the fabric to the side, overlap another string to the end and sew in place.
No need to cut your threads, just keep joining the strings in this manner until you have a bunch.
Remove the whole thing from your sewing machine and cut the threads between the strips. I enlist my kids to do this task if they are around. They love it. (Sometimes.)
Roll it up into a big ball. Now you have fabric yarn! A lot of times my kids will swipe it because they like to play with it before I crochet it. Thankfully it rolls back up pretty easily. :)

CROCHET THE RUG:
The most important thing to remember when making this is to crochet LOOSELY.

Use a P hook (11.5 mm) to chain 40 stitches plus one for turning. Single crochet into each stitch (I stitch into the front loop) all the way across.
When you get to the end of the row, chain one.
Turn the work. Continue to single crochet in to the front loop of each stitch all the way across the row. Again, chain one, turn the work, repeat. If you run out of fabric yarn, simply make another ball and attach it with a quick pass through the sewing machine.
Keep crocheting in the same manner until the piece is the desired length. Knot and weave in the end. I wish you could reach through the screen and touch it because the texture is wonderful!
This rug measures about 23" x 31". It is scrap project #61/101!

I really enjoyed crocheting this rag rug. It seemed to go quicker than knitting did, it was easier to manage the bulk and I liked working with one stitch on a hook rather than 50 stitches on a set of needles. There was a lot less wrestling! I'm already crocheting a second rug and I'm dreaming about making a gigantic one for my front entryway. That would be a little bit crazy, but I just might do it anyway.

If you make a rug using this tutorial, I'd love to see it!

And, as always....Happy Monday to you!

61 comments:

Lucineide Cantinho do Fuxico said...

Olá! Eu amei esse tapete de retalhos, já fiz muito com minha vó! Ficou lindo!
Beijos,
Lu

Shannon Wallace said...

Thank you for sharing! This is just awesome!

Julierose said...

Oh neat-o; I just started crocheting and am definitely going to do one of these babies--they'd make a great gift to use as a front of the tub mat! thanks so much Hugs, Julierose

Cille said...

Thank you for another great tutorial :)

Libby Charles said...

This is the neatest rug and a perfect way to use up those scraps that I just can't part with! I knit (well, once upon a time before I discovered quilting I did), but I've never tried crocheting. May be time to look at a few you-tube videos to see if I can teach myself and get busy...thanks for the tutorial!!!!!

Jean said...

It is a beautiful rug and good concept, but what are you putting on the back to make it non-slip.I used to weave rugs, but can no longer have them in my home because throw rugs can cause a lot of falls and are not recommended for older folk. Just a safety warning, that may prevent a fall, and a lot of pain for someone.

Arita said...

Thanks for sharing and the great tutorial.

handmadebychris said...

Oh I love this. I might just give this a try if I get the patience to cut those fabric strips.
And as far as a huge rug si concerned: I get a feeling that when you say something is a little bit crazy what you mean to say is that this is your next project ;-)

Mary Ellen said...

I don't worry about slippage. I use mine in the bathroom and they are only laid onto the floor prior to bathing or showering and placed back over the side of the tub or the shower rod when I am finished. I have used them in the kitchen as well - in front of the refrigerator or sink or in front of the dishwasher to catch the spills and drips. The non-skid backing on purchased throw rugs deteriorate fairly quickly with washing and drying. They are expensive to replace and I have pretty much given up on them. If tripping is a problem - as with older folks- there shouldn't be any throw rugs in the house anyway regardless of whether or not they have a non skid backing. They are still a tripping hazard. Since we have hardwood floors throughout the house, there needs to be something to catch water spills and these crocheted rugs are wonderful.

Carol said...

A number of years ago, I made several of these in heart shape and oval shapes. I bought fabric at remnant places and cut into strips, then cut slits in each end of the strip (not all the way through to edge) and looped the next strip on--not sure what that knot is called. Loved them. But I also love this rectangle one and the lighter springy colors. Makes me want to pull some of my fabric that has been on the shelves a while and start a rug. Thanks for posting this!

Marianne said...

Doesn't it get all thready? I think that would drive me nuts.

Melodee said...

Is it harder to crochet over the knots if the strips are tied vs. sewn? Sewing the strips together is a time consuming process for me and when I don't remember to sew twice I have issues with the strips separating as I knit, assume crocheting would have the same issue. Will try it and see which method I prefer. Thanks for sharing.

Liv Aagots Quilteblogg said...

Great tutorial! I will try it out one day :) Love from Liv Aagot, Norway :)

Nini said...

Sure wish I knew how to crochet!

amandajean said...

Marianne,

Actually it doesn't get too thready. It's a bit messy while making it (esp if you use honey bun strips that have pinked edges) but once it's worked up these rugs hardly shed at all.

Hope that helps!

AJ

amandajean said...

Melodee,

Yes, I found it MUCH harder to work with the yarn if the strips are tied. That's why I decided to sew them together. It does take some advanced prep, but it's not too bad. If you try it out let me know what you think! You could try it out on a small scale (like a trivet size or something) before you move on to rug size.

Hope that helps!

AJ

Di~ said...

LOve the Rug!

Ina said...

i was with you until you brought out the crochet hook. :( darn! i need to learn so basic crocheting!

beautiful rug!

A Quilter's Mission said...

I'm soooo excited to try this. Thanks!

Brenda said...

I made a couple of crocheted rugs very similar to this using selvages cut from heavy wool double woven blankets that we could buy by the pound at a Pendleton Woolens factory outlet store. I used either a P or an S hook. Unfortunately, that store closed, and now all we have near is a small garment outlet store. I so miss the fabric -- we could buy woolen offcuts and miscuts from the factory -- nothing like a bunch of sleeves to felt and sew with. It would be great to do a rug like this with salvaged wool before it is washed and felted. Then imagine what the felted run will feel like. Wonderful, I'd bet. I'm going to have to try the cottons -- I have tons of "scraps" and "yucks" that I could overdye if necessary to blend colors a bit. Thank you.

Emily Carnes said...

Wow that rug is gorgeous!! I've had a giant crochet hook for years and never used it... kept thinking I was going to crochet a hammock. I might have to make a rug! Aweesome.

Emily at backtothecraft.blogspot.ca

SuperMomNoCape said...

Our oldest daughter crocheted a large round rug for the livingroom of her first apartment. It took lots and lots of thrifted sheets but it looked great when she finished it. So if you're wanting to make one for your entry way... go for!

Anne said...

I love that you posted this! I (finally) just started a knit one from your instructions!

Anita said...

What a great idea! Thanks for the tutorial :)

tink's mom said...

It's wonderful but how are you counting it on your use of scraps projects list. :]

Judy said...

This sounds like so much fun!! I have bunches of scraps. I need to go look for my crochet hook!

Diane said...

your rug is so pretty. I will have to brush up on crocheting (I used to do it-been years) I am definitely going to try to remember to do this, next week. (this week is full already) But the string drawer is overflowing

SewPsyched! said...

So cute! I bet there are a hundred tutorials on how to do the single crochet on youtube, so folks shouldnt let lack of current crochet knowledge stop them. I used to teach a class with the slip knot technique, and it does make a lumpier rug, and you cant make a long bunch of yarn like you have here. Clearly, I need to jump on this and make another! :)

pandchintz said...

That looks like so much fun - thanks for sharing!

karen gray said...

I love it! It's on my to do list. Thank you for sharing such a fun project.

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

love this! I'll have to make one of these!

alejandra said...

Love it, it looks fun to make it, I will save all my little pieces of fabric now, thanks for sharing.

Lorna McMahon said...

What a great project for using strips that are really too small to accommodate 1/4" seams! You make me want to learn to crochet.

Miss Lola said...

Any idea of how much 'fabric yarn' is needed to make a rug?
How much did the rug shown take?
I know that there is now way to be exact with yardage but I don't want to get going and run out especially if I am making one for a specific place.

Kris said...

Love this idea. My scrap strips are overflowing and not necessarily attractive. Then add to that some old fabric I inherited and I think maybe a quick dye of some before I crochet would work to make a fun rug.

amandajean said...

Miss Lola,

That is a tough question to answer. Maybe 2-3 larger size balls of yarn? Actually, I just weighed it on my kitchen scale and it's about 2.25 pounds. :) Hopefully that helps a little bit!

AJ

Liz said...

Love your rug and thank you for the tutorial! Can't wait to make one of my own.

Judy said...

Ooooh, what a great idea, instead of putting them in the rubbish! I will surely try it out! Thanks!

Quiltin Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing! This could bust a lot of scraps of those fabrics that make me wonder what I was thinking!!

Nita said...

I love this!!! I am going to put it on my list! ( like I need one more thing on my list, lol!) btw i am slowly making fabric boxes for my scraps from Sunday Morning Quilts...my favourite book :)

Nita said...

...or you could use t-shirts and cut them in a spiral from the bottom up!

Suzanne said...

I'm taking a break from being responsible around the house and your post was like a tall drink of water on a hot day. I still have my strips. ;) I like this version even better than the knit one. Somehow the stitched ends sound more appealing.

Theresa Henderson said...

love it, reminds me of the rugs my granny had

Denise Russell said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I love crocheting and will definitely try it. I have a drawer overflowing with fabric strips...

Florence said...

love it, great job

JaneB said...

I know how to knit, but never learned crochet. Do you know a good tutorial "how to" so that I can learn how to do this? I love this rug and I have a bunch of selvedge that I could use to make a rug. Would it make the rug "fuller" if I crocheted with a thick cotton yarn and the fabric strips? Too many questions.

Tina said...

I'm about to crochet a rug with old t-shirts, that I cut into strips. Works nicely too. But I like the way the colour changes in your rug because of the multicoloured fabric stripes!

Random Thoughts Tracy said...

oh good grief... you make this seem so simple and inviting! UGH.. I think I might need to brush up my 30 year old crochet skills and make one or a bazillion of these... I'm always buying cheap rugs from target, cute but don't ever last long and hubby hates that I keep them around way past their expiration date! THANKS a million for forging the way for us and encouraging us in your crazy adventures! :)

Joy said...

I am two thirds into knitting your rag rug. Would kove to make this crocheted one as welk. Love itx

Julie van den Driesche said...

ooo so glad I hoard and never throw anything away! Thanks for such a great idea!

KWILEY said...

I second the post a few above about any good suggestions for a tutorial on how to crochet...love this rug!!!!now to work on scraps...

Lisa Lisa said...

Love this! I've been saving my strings for quite some time to make your knitted rug, but I might try this one first.

junacreationsuk.blogspot.co.uk said...

That is lovely, I am so inspired by your rug, I've ordered myself a big crochet hook and am looking forward to getting stuck into all those strings that I have all around.

Wendy Kemp said...

Your rug is so summery. Thanx for the tute, will definately try it.

Lisa Wallert-Johnson said...

I've been pinning DIY rug ideas for a while now, but I like this better then anything else I've seen! I'm an inpatient crocheter but this seems like it may go quickly enough for me. Thanks for the great tutorial!

Katie said...

Love the rug. would this work with wider strings? I have a huge bucket of 2.5 inch strips and this would be a great use for them.

Lauretta6 said...

I have a rug crocheted about 1/2 the size I want. I have to hold the crochet hook a little different to pull the fabric through. I am using the 3/4 wide size and just cut up old yardage. Mine is kind of striped because I did not mix up the strips. I think if the fabric was any wider it would hurt your hand trying to pull it though. Loved this idea for using some ugly s that have accumulated. Now I will pick up ugly scraps that others discard at quilt guild.

KrisR said...

I'm going to start cutting strips today as I said NO NEW QUILTING PROJECTS until I finish a few more UFOs up. This isn't a quilting project. ;)

Now.....I wonder if I have a big enough hook?

Wendy L said...

I love this method of joining the strips (and your rug!) I used it to make one of my own, thanks so much for the inspiration!
Link back within:
http://cabinfibers.blogspot.com/2014/08/ulitmate-scrap-buster-rag-rug-q3-fal.html

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great tutorial! It has been a long time since I crocheted......this looks like fun!

charlotte said...

Finally made this wonderful project. You can see it here:
http://grammieq.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-i-did-on-my-summer-vacation.html
Thanks for the great tutorial.